Case Study: Is getting new followers with a $5 Twitter Ad worth it?
I ran a $5 Twitter Ad campaign to find out more about the Followers goal. When creating a Twitter ad you can select a goal for the advertising campaign and one of the options is “Followers”. Presumably, running an ad under that goal will result in you getting more followers. I wanted to see how far $5 worth of Twitter ads gets you.
Having never run an ad on Twitter, my goal was to see how Twitter ads worked. I’ve run Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and ads on Instagram, but this was the first time running a Twitter ad. Overall, Twitter’s ad management platform is similar to most other platforms. It’s broken down into campaigns, ad groups, and ads. It shows reports of ad impressions, clicks, results, and ad spend.
Ad Type: Image ad
Budget: $5 USD
Ad Copy: A friendly greeting, passive messaging, a picture of my chickens
Demographics: Age 25+, men and women
Operating System: iOS (all), and Desktop
Geographic: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusettes
Keywords: small business, WordPress, Maine
Interests: Business – marketing, Business – small business, Business – entrepreneurship
I thought I’d get 5-10 new Twitter followers for my effort.
For only running a 1-day ad with a budget of $5 USD my expectations for results were low, but my expectation for learning the system through real-world experience was high. I thought it would be reasonable to expect a few new followers (5-10), as people interested in the keywords and demographics I targeted may applaud my experimentation and enjoy the image of my backyard chickens.
Total Spend: $4.92 USD
Overall, $5 USD bought me 2 new followers. And I can confirm at least 1 of them is a real person.
In conclusion, for $5 USD you don’t get much from Twitter in relation to running a Followers focused ad campaign. For my low-effort experiment, I netted 2 followers for $4.92 total (or $2.46 per person). I don’t believe that’s a very good ROI, however, it may have been worth the exposure based on impressions if I was promoting a product or service instead of toying around with Twitter’s ad platform, so there’s that.
Observations & Retrospective
In retrospect, there are a few aspects I would immediately change to improve the success rate.
First, I would include a clear call-to-action. It stands to reason that no one who saw my ad engaged with the ad because I didn’t ask them to. My goal was achieving a learning experience (which I did), but if your goal was to sell a product or actually gain a significant amount of more followers you should definitely include a call-to-action to ask viewers to do something. For my case, I could change the experiment to see how much reach I could generate for my budget, explain the goal in the ad text, and ask whoever sees the ad to like and retweet.
Second, I would A/B test with different images. If I was working with an extended budget I’m certain a picture of a dog would garner more interest than my chickens — even though my dog’s never woken me up with a 3-egg-omelet.
Third, I would narrow the target audience. It’s tough to decide who should see your ad when your goal is vague. However, with a well-defined goal, you’re able to define a more narrow audience and can typically increase the odds of connecting with a better group of people. In my opinion, it’s better to advertise to a smaller amount of people who are acutely interested in your promotion versus a larger number of people of a general audience — even a qualified general audience. For increased return on ad spend (ROAS), it benefits to be hyper-focused.